Climate research at the Rossby Centre

The Rossby Centre pursues research on climate processes and the behaviour of the climate system. The principal tools are global and regional climate models developed within the research unit.

Research activities at the Rossby Centre focus on increasing knowledge of the future climate, covering meteorological, oceanographic and hydrological aspects. Work is conducted both on model development and evaluation of data, as well as modelling applications for process studies and climate change research in support of impact and adaptation studies.
About Rossby Centre

H2020 project: PRIMAVERA


PRIMAVERA aims to develop a new generation of advanced and well-evaluated high-resolution global climate models, capable of simulating and predicting regional climate with unprecedented fidelity, for the benefit of governments, business and society in general.

PRIMAVERA project information

H2020 project: CLIMATEUROPE


 The Climateurope project is will coordinating and supporting Europe’s knowledge base to enable better management of climate-related risks and opportunities, thereby creating greater social and economic value.

CLIMATEUROPE project information

H2020 project: CRESCENDO

Logo from CRESCENDO project

The CRESCENDO project facilitates a coordinated European contribution to the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) where the climate research community compares a range of International Earth System Models using common sets of experimental protocols, to improve our knowledge of the Earth’s climate processes and provide the best possible future projections to governments and decision-makers.

CRESCENDO project information

Phase 1 CORDEX simulations all now available!


On the 1st April 2014 the Rossby Centre completed the publication of the first phase of their CORDEX ensemble on the Swedish ESGF node, a culmination of the last few years of hard work by the team.

See full news story on the CORDEX website

Helping to climate-proof the Swedish and Finnish forestry sector


Rossby Centre scientist Lars Bärring works within the Mistra-SWECIA research programme to help forest scientists at Skogforsk to develop new production functions for Scots pine. With these new functions it is possible to take present day climate and the future warming trends into account when optimising the selection of Scots pine seedlings for forest regeneration.

Click here to read more about this work

How will the earth’s climate respond to future changes in sea ice and snow cover?


Torben Königk of the Rossby Centre recently attended the launch meeting of the Impact of future cryospheric changes on Northern Hemisphere: Climate, green growth and society (GREENICE) project in Bergen. The project sets out to discover more about the interactions between changes in climate, such as extreme winter cold spells and summer heat waves, and future changes in Arctic sea ice and snow cover.

Click here to read more on the project and our role in it

Rossby Centre scientists join SMHI colleagues at CIRCLE2 conference


Erik Kjellström, Lars Bärring and Eleanor O'Rourke from the Rossby Centre joined their SMHI colleagues Carin Nilsson, Åsa Sjöström and Ingrid Gudmudsson to participate in the CIRCLE2 Adaption Frontiers Conference in Lisbon, 10th-12th March. CIRCLE-2 is a European Network of 34 institutions from 23 countries, including SMHI, committed to fund research and share knowledge on climate adaptation and the promotion of long-term cooperation among national and regional climate change programmes.

Click here to find out more about our participation in the conference

What are the impacts of a global warming of 2˚C?


The FP7 IMPACT2C project brings climate and impact modellers, including the Rossby Centre, together with experts on climate change adaptation and vulnerability to investigate what the local and regional impacts of a two-degree global warming will be. One part of this work deals with future climate change and its associated uncertainties. In a new study, regional climate change in Europe has been investigated.

To read more about the new study click here

Final wave of FP7 projects kick off

eu flagga

The European Union Framework Programme 7 (FP7) is now drawing to a close with the last projects to be funded by this programme kicking off in recent months. The Rossby Centre is involved in three of these projects; CLIP-C, GLOBAQUA and HELIX.

Find out more about the projects and how our team will contribute

ADSIMNOR project nears completion

reindeer small

The Arctic warms faster than other areas and the widely reported decline of Arctic sea ice cover over recent years is connected to rapid events leading to new record low summer ice extents. The Rossby Centre led project ADSIMNOR (ADvanced Simulation of Arctic Climate Change and IMpact on NOrthern Regions), which aims to improve the understanding of climate change in the Arctic and its impacts in northern Sweden, will come to an end during 2014. Together with advancing scientific knowledge the project has also been involved in a two-way stakeholder dialogue, communicating possible usage of climate projections for additional impact assessment and local decision making.

For more on the outcomes of the ADSIMNOR project click here

Rossby Centre at CORDEX 2013

CORDEX Welcome banner

A number of the Rossby Centre group recently took part in the CORDEX 2013: International Conference on Regional Climate 4th-7th November at the Charlemagne Building in the EU quarter of Brussels. The conference started with a High Level Session day featuring speakers such as Connie Hedegaard, the Commissioner for Climate Change, and Thomas Stocker of the IPCC. There then followed three science days with numerous plenary, parallel and poster sessions.

Read more on the team's involvement at CORDEX 2013

SMHI host FP7 EUPORIAS 1st General Assembly

EUPORIAS group photo

From 1st-3rd October SMHI hosted the 1st General Assembly of the FP7 EUPORIAS project. Both the Rossby Centre and the Hydrology Group represent SMHI within the project, which is developing a number of climate services prototypes to address the needs of specific users.

For more information on the meeting click here

Rossby Centre publishes new CORDEX regional climate simulation data

CORDEX arctic image

CORDEX – the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment is an international project, founded by by the World Climate Research Programme, which aims to coordinate international efforts in regional climate downscaling. The CORDEX project includes two main components; dynamical and statistical downscaling. Since 2010 the Rossby Centre has been heavily involved in CORDEX related dynamical downscaling by coordinating international regional modelling activities and producing regional climate simulations over various CORDEX domains. A number of these simulations have recently been published and are freely available to all interested users.

For more information on the recently published CORDEX simulations click here

New climate scenario data available at!

New SMHI scenario image

A new set of climate scenario data is soon to be published at These new maps show how the climate of Sweden, and Europe, is projected to change in the future.

The annual and seasonal means, from today up to 2100, are presented in a series of maps for Sweden and further the wider European region. For Sweden there is an additional option to examine parts of the country (forecast regions, counties and catchment areas) in more detail.

For more information on the scenario maps click here

Future signals from African drought hotspots

RC Sep2013 drought

The Rossby Centre has produced a large ensemble of regional climate simulations by downscaling a subset of CMIP5 GCMs under the CORDEX-Africa initiative. Can this, as well as an ensemble of the driving GCMs, give us a hint about the possible future of one of Africa’s drought hotspots? Visiting scientist to the Rossby Centre, Bode Gbobaniyi, explains.
Read more about the CORDEX-Africa simulations

Success for Rossby Centre partnered projects in last FP7 call

FP7 logo

We recently received news that three project proposals (CLIPC, HELIX and GLOBAQUA) for the the final FP7 call in which the Rossby Centre are partners have been successful. These projects will now enter final negotiations with the European Commission with likely start dates in Autumn 2013.

Read more on the Rossby Centre's role in these new projects.

Blocking index and Arctic Oscillation in decadal experiments with EC-Earth


Rossby Centre scientists have been analyzing the ability of our modelling system ability to reproduce Arctic Oscillation decadal variability. EC-Earth model version 2.3 (Hazeleger at al, 2013) was used in CMIP5 configuration and forcing setup for an extended decadal hindcast experiment. This consists of an ensemble of 5 members each with 46 decadal simulations, starting yearly on 1st November for the period 1960-2005. The coupled model was initialised using anomaly method for ocean and ice and the 5 members are obtained perturbing both: ocean and ice initial state.

Read more on these decadal experiments using EC-EARTH

Reproducing an extreme precipitation event over Crete using high-resolution climate model simulations

RC News Fig 3 Daily mean precipitation Crete

The Rossby Centre is a participant in the EU project ECLISE. The main objective in this project is to take the first step towards the realisation of a European Climate Service. The Rossby Centre is involved mainly in providing regional climate model simulations over Europe to be subsequently used in impact studies. It not only involves pan-European simulations, but also European sub-regions that have been selected for specific case studies, such as Crete. In these latter experiments, the goal is to use very high-resolution climate models. We are currently working towards the development of a new regional climate model (RCM), based on the non-hydrostatic numerical weather prediction model HARMONIE.

Read more on the results of high resolution model simulations over Crete

Evaluation of water vapour in EC-Earth

CM SAF logo

For model evaluation and improvements long-term homogeneous and consistent observational data sets are needed. The EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM-SAF) datasets have recently been made for available for the climate modelling community, including variables such as cloud and moisture and radiation variables. We have used the water vapour products for evaluation of the Rossby Centre global climate model EC-Earth.

Find out more about the evaluation of water vapour simulated by EC-Earth

Rossby Centre Day 2013: From data to decisions.....

RC Day 2013 reindeer

On Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th May 2013 representatives of the Rossby Centre, SMHI, the impacts and risk assessment community and relevant stakeholders came together for the annual Rossby Centre Day at SMHI in Norrköping.

Under the title 'From data to decisions....' the aim of the meeting was to improve the communication between these three communities to allow for more effective collaboration and ultimately more informed decisions on climate change mitigation and adaptation across the Nordic and Baltic regions.

Click here for more information on the meeting

Rainfall extremes linked to showers - Nature Geosciences article

Cumulonimbus calvus near Tubingen, Germany
Foto Bernhard Mühr,

Rainfall extremes have far reaching consequences for nature and human society and their study therefore constitutes one of the main research focuses for meteorology and climatology. However, the topic of extreme rainfall is further complicated by rainfall properties being strongly dependent on the time scale studied. There are also different types of precipitation, resulting from different processes that produce rain.

Find out more about this recent Nature Geosciences published research

Aerosol-cloud interactions in EC-Earth

RC Feb Irena Clouds

Changes in cloud properties resulting from aerosol loading can have potentially significant effects on the radiative forcing and cloud and precipitation patterns and amounts (indirect aerosol effects). The Rossby Centre provides global climate predictions and projections using the EC-Earth model, which features advanced parametrizations of clouds and radiation but has rather crude representation of aerosols. Here we test the benefits of more realistic aerosol distributions and more complete aerosol and cloud representation that accounts for the interactions of aerosols with clouds and radiation.

Find out more about our work on aerosol-cloud interactions in EC Earth

Emerging regional climate change signals under varying large-scale circulation conditions

Emerging regional climate change signals under varying large-scale circulation conditions

A large ensemble of regional climate model projections from the ENSEMBLES project has been investigated for if, and when, they show an emergence of significant climate change signals in seasonal mean temperature and precipitation in different areas of Europe. The influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), as simulated in the projections, was also investigated.

Find out more about the results of the ENSEMBLES projections

An ensemble of CORDEX-Africa climate projections simulated by RCA4


Within the CORDEX-Africa initiative a large ensemble of regional climate simulations over Africa has been produced at the Rossby Centre by dynamical downscaling of a subset of GCMs from the CMIP5 project.

More on the CORDEX-Africa simulations at the Rossby Centre

Record sea ice minimum in reality and climate models

Sea ice figure

A new record minimum of Arctic sea ice cover has been observed in late August 2012. The event is a consequence of a downward trend in sea ice thickness and area. Since the start of the satellite era in 1979, it is likely about two thirds of the Arctic sea ice volume has been lost.

More on the record sea ice minimum

Decadal predictions for the Arctic with EC-EARTH

Decadal predictions are more skillful in some regions and less so elsewhere. SMHI has performed a set of decadal predictions with the EC-EARTH model as part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project - Phase 5 (CMIP5). The question is how much skill do decadal predictions have in the Arctic?

More on decadal predictions in the Arctic

Upcoming EC-Earth 3 release

EC Earth 3 logo

A new release of the coupled climate model EC-Earth will become available in October. The model is being developed by a European consortium of climate research units and the Rossby Centre has played a vital role during the engineering of the most recent instance, EC-Earth 3. The upcoming release includes many new aspects, with upgraded component models and a focus on user friendliness.

More on the new version of EC-Earth

New EU Framework Programme 7 projects kick off

FP7 logo

In addition to a number of ongoing European Union Framework Programme 7 projects the Rossby Centre also been part of three successful proposals for new FP7 projects.

More on the new FP7 projects

Evaluation of the near-surface wind field in RCA4

Daniel Kunne recently completed a four month internship at the Rossby Centre as part of his MSc studies at Wageningen University. During this time he studied the representation of the offshore wind field at multiple locations across the North Sea, in which three runs of the RCA4 model are compared against station observations. Time series and statistical relations yield promising results, but reveal consistent model biases and differences in the nature of the wind. Classification of the static stability shows signs of the effect of horizontal resolution, wind surface stress, and possibly turbulent kinetic energy on the accuracy of the model.

Click here to read Daniel's report on his work at SMHI

NordForsk LANDCLIM workshop on climate modeling, 22-24 February 2011


The research network NordForsk LANDCLIM gathers researchers from Northern Europe dealing with issues related to the link between climate and vegetation on long time scales.
Material from the workshop

Weighting of climate models

Results are now presented of the European Ensembles project, which designed and tested a weighting system for aggregated regional climate models.
Climate Research

Science on climate models

Regional climate models have become important tools in providing detailed scenarios regarding climate change. There is now a comprehensive scientific description of SMHI’s models and how they can be used.
Combined science on climate models

More extreme weather in the future


New climate projections show that extreme weather will be more common in Europe, heavy rain and heat waves will be more frequent and more intense than at present.
More extreme weather in the future

Development of climate models

Markschema RCA

The Rossby Centre develops three-dimensional climate models that mathematically describe the climate system and interactions between its components. To serve as a national planning instrument with sufficient spatial detail, global climate models must be down-scaled to regional and local level.
Development and evaluation of models

How can climate information be of use?

stövlar i regn

Methods are developed in order to refine climate scenario information and make the climate data easier to understand and use. Some development areas deal with more detailed future scenarios, climate indices and quantification of uncertainty.
Analysing climate scenario data